DIY Baby “Taggie” Blanket

I’ve been having fun using up scraps of material and ribbon pieces I’ve collected to make Taggie-like baby toys for friends’ babies. If you haven’t seen one before, check out the professional version here. If you have a sewing machine and can stitch a straight line with it, try making one yourself. I’ve made a couple of small versions as well as receiving-blanket-sized ones for twins born in November.

The tutorial is here.

My creations:

This donkey-covered mini blanket was for friends Meg and Steve’s baby. The fabric is from our old neighborhood haunt, Purl Soho. They’ll let you buy as little as 1/4 yard, which is enough to make three sides of a mini tag blanket {so go ahead and splurge on the fancy designer prints}. Check out the donkey one here.

I like to use at least one side of fleece to create an interesting textural experience, as well as give the blanket some Lose Weight Exercise. The back:

I made an almost identical one for Amanda and Jonathan’s baby, only I used a squirrel fabric for the front. I don’t think I have a picture, but here’s the fabric swatch:

Check it out here.

The baby blankets I made for the twins had fleece on both sides:

My biggest tip is to use a variety of widths, lengths, and textures for the ribbon “tags.” So many versions I’ve seen are matchy-matchy and use a lot of pastel colors. In my experience with babies and toddlers, the more contrast the better. Once you start saving ribbons from various places (handles from fancy shopping bags, packaging for household goods, gifts, trim from old clothes) you’ll be sure to have an interesting mix of colors and textures that will hold a baby’s interest. I use satin, velvet, lace, ridged, and sheer ribbons ‚?? whatever I have on hand!

Give it a try and let me know if you have one to show off!

Dots and Doilies Baby Shower

We hosted a baby shower yesterday for friends Amanda and Jonathan. It was a blast, from the planning with a cool friend of the mom-to-be to enjoying the company. And the parents-to-be took away some nice loot and heartfelt well-wishes that I hope helps them feel prepared ‚?? and maybe even more excited! ‚?? for the arrival of their baby girl.

Doilies don’t seem like the most modern of party decorations (and I was trying to avoid anything over-the-top girly, since that’s not really Amanda and Jonathan’s style), but I thought they contributed an interesting visual element to the dots and circles in the ribbon and other decorations, inspired by this modern baby shower.

I made the mobile-esque hanging decoration out of an embroidery loop and some paper circles glued to ribbon.

Cucumber Boats from this Vegetarian Times recipe.

Honey Baked Brie: Just bake a honey-drizzled round of brie on parchment paper at 350 for about 20 minutes. It sounds weird and looks weirder, but trust me on its tastiness! I meant to add thyme as well but forgot.

I used this sugar cookie recipe and cookie cutters from here.

Vanilla pudding with berries (a cheater’s version here).

Pots of chocolate mousse with grated chocolate topping (the cheating version here).

The parents-to-be!

Guests included 2 other little ones around Jax’s age.

Present opening begins!

Favors: sugar cookies wrapped in parchment paper with a doily wedge accent, all tied together with ribbon.

The aftermath of a successful grazing station.

The Daily Report

One of the things I absolutely love about Jax’s preschool is that each day we get a report of what he did. There are lists of activities and moods and foods that are circled, but there is also a hand-written summary of the highlights. Yesterday’s report was sweet, so I thought I’d share:

Jax was so helpful to one of his friends today. He tried helping Tyler up when he stepped on the toy and went down on his bottom. At sensory play he laughed while trying to lick applesauce off his mouth. He danced and said his name “Jax” when I showed him his photograph.

I’m saving the reports in a binder and it’s fun to look back at the progress he’s made. Since he started going in August, Jax has come so far, from crying and crawling to walking and talking.

Before I leave the blog for now, I have to share photos of our young Frenchman-in-the-making. Jax is now the proud owner of a beret and a Citro√ęn Deux Chevaux. Merci, Josiane et G√©rard!

Back to the routine

We came back to find lots of snow, and then some new snow fell. This is the view out the back window.

Thanks to Abby, I have found some great ideas in this book about Montessori methods. To practice pouring liquids, the editor suggests using lentils first. It was fun, but still a tad messy.

It’ll soon be time for haircut #2.

Trying out snow boots for the first time. Jax wasn’t a huge fan.

He is a huge fan of shapes, so I cut up a sponge into various shapes and we played with paint. We used a cap for the circle.

The play table is an end-table I found in the garbage and refinished. The chair was also a garbage find our neighbor offered to us. It’s a work in progress and I’m not quite happy with the results yet, which is why I haven’t blogged about it until now!

We took a day trip to Beacon this weekend. It’s a way-hip artsy place that is home to a fun burger joint. Here, Jax is enjoying the fries under the artwork on display.

We checked out Dia:Beacon, a contemporary art museum. Jax found a playmate for a staring contest.

He also enjoyed throwing snowballs and watching them disintegrate.

The major development this weekend: Jax loves to brush his own teeth now that he can reach the sink! He’s jealous of Seth and my electric toothbrushes, however, so we’ll build on that enthusiasm and get him one of his own.

Lastly, we made a reading corner out of a dog bed we picked up at Home Goods. The pillows need some decorative work to look more enticing to a 16-month-old. I’d like to do a fabric-collage kind of thing using some souvenir dish towels from Europe. But the cozy corner is already a hit!